I moved back to the UK some years ago, but the time spent in Spain, and in particular, the years spent en el pueblo, still influence my thoughts. Today, for example is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a fact I would never have paid any attention to before living in a Catholic country, but which today has prompted me to feel nostalgic.

When we signed the papers on the house in the village it was early autumn, although we continued to dither between Madrid and the country for quite a while after that. So we were still not really on top of the intricacies of rural life as that first year wound down towards las fiestas de navidad.
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la Inmaculada

Tiepolo: inmaculada concepción
Although I now spend most of my time in the UK, I still work with people in Spain and – due mostly to the lack of response to my phone calls – I am very conscious of the fact that today is a fiesta.

In fact it’s the fiesta de la inmaculada concepción – celebrating the immaculate conception of Mary, mother of Jesus.
Continue reading “la Inmaculada”

more burning issues

pruning fruit trees; Gredos backdrop

La inmaculada, 2012

In the orchard, you
are busy pruning
and tending a bonfire.
In the kitchen, the toaster
fails to pop; I offer up
my own burnt offering
to the Virgin.

In fact – as far as I know – Spain has no tradition of sacrificial fires to celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, but most of the ‘clouds’ in the photo are really bonfire smoke, which does make me wonder.

There’s a longer poem for la Inmaculada, posted a couple of years ago, which was inspired by the painting by Tiépolo.

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